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The government of Massachusetts has warned of the prevalence of cryptocurrency scams targeting the LGBTQIA+ community on social media, dating apps and elsewhere.
"Fraudsters may contact their victim impersonating a friend, partner or family member asking for funds due to an emergency or debt," according to the warning. "Alternatively, scammers will develop new relationships with their target, usually with romantic intentions to then receive monetary gifts and steal personal information."
A "red flag" for such a scam would be a request of payment in cryptocurrency, it added.
Therefore, warning signs to look out for include social media friend requests from new profiles or ones with minimal prior activity and matches on dating apps that move quickly but refuse in-person connection.
At the start of this month, the FTC produced analysis saying consumers had lost over $1 billion in crypto-linked fraud from January 2021 through to March this year. Romance scams was in the top three most prevalent types of fraud alongside bogus investment schemes and business/government impersonation frauds.